Boxing


Bernard Hopkins' Ambition Still Rages - Wants Dawson, Winner Of Haye-Ruiz

by James Slater - Modern day legend Bernard Hopkins proved to be a very interesting guest on this past Friday's Friday Night fights show on ESPN. Doing the "In Your Corner" part of the show, the 45-year-old phenomenon was on top form vocally and he had many fascinating things to say that prove beyond any doubt his desire, ambition and hunger remain very much intact.

Answering questions fired at him by viewers and fans, "The Executioner" let it be known he has a lot more in his sights than the upcoming April 3rd rematch with long-time rival Roy Jones Junior.. B-Hop spoke first about the long awaited return of the 1993 fight he lost against Jones, saying Jones, while not a shot fighter yet, will become one on April 3rd. A personal fight for Hopkins more than anything else, 'Nard's talk about the return fight was no way as interesting as what the Philly great had to say about two other, hugely intriguing possibilities.

First of all, Hopkins said he would fight Chad Dawson, "in a heartbeat," but only when the fight reaches the mega-fight stage; when such a match-up would really mean something. Right now, Hopkins says, the unbeaten 27-year-old southpaw ruler does not generate enough interest, nor does he generate enough money for the fight to be really big. Hopkins said he wants to "clean out" the light-heavyweight division, and then "add sanity" to the 175-pound weight class the way he did the middleweight division back in the early 2000s. And the culmination of this act would be the fight with Dawson; a fight that would contest all the major belts at 175. Sounds good.

However, as much as he is interested in a fight with the man seen by many as the best in the world at light-heavyweight (a man who has also called him out numerous times), Hopkins is also very much interested in going for a belt up at heavyweight. Hopkins again spoke of his desire to face the winner of the David Haye-John Ruiz WBA heavyweight title fight (also set for Apr. 3rd). Knowing a win over a recognised heavyweight champion would add immensely to his stature in the history books, B-Hop said he also recognises the risks such a fight would have.

Needing something that motivates him to the point where people would ask if he were "crazy", the 45-year-old all-time great sure seems serious about wanting to get it on with a big name heavyweight - Haye or Ruiz in particular. One caller even asked Hopkins if he's be interested in facing the winner of the April 24h Chris Arreola-Tomasz Adamek rumble, and again Bernard replied in the positive.

Of course, Hopkins has always been a great talker, perhaps even almost as great a talker as he is a fighter, and maybe neither of the three possibilities he spoke about will come off. But there was a definite sparkle in Hopkins' eyes when he spoke of facing either Haye or Ruiz. "It would be the history," B-Hop said on the subject of him moving up and grabbing a belt at heavyweight.

Both this and the talk of a fight with Chad Dawson proved so interesting, the upcoming fight Hopkins will have, against Jones, became all but a forgotten issue. Of course, Jones could possibly ruin Hopkins' lofty ideas by repeating his 1993 points win (forget all that nonsense about Jones KO'ing Hopkins), but I wouldn't bet on it.

After he's dealt with his "unfinished business" with Jones Junior, Bernard Hopkins could well serve to provide us with a most exciting 2010.

Article posted on 22.02.2010



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